Touch Breaker Breaks the Brick Breaker Mold

Posted: June 9, 2009 in Arcade, Puzzle

We’ve all played our share of brick breaker games which involve bouncing balls off paddles to knock off blocks or specific targets. Ever since the Atari days, the brick breaker game has continued to evolve and grow in popularity. Now, you have a new game called Touch Breaker where the power of the finger swipe is the paddle and offers some pretty addicting gameplay.

Touch Breakers provides smooth graphics with a decent selection of background scenes that gives it a polished look. The big difference in Touch Breaker from other brick breaker games is that you climb higher and higher. While the game looks simple, it’s anything but that especially when the screen continuously scrolls upward, and you need to simultaneously tap to access devices and secure credits. In Touch Breaker, the objective is to reach the end of the level by destroying blocks with the ball, while also keeping the ball from falling into the abyss. Along the way, power ups can be acquired as well as credits which can then be used to buy additional bonus items in the Intergalactic Shop to help you through the journey. The game has 100 levels which consist of various mazes and obstacles that you’ll need to creatively and strategically swipe your ball through. There are also 6 music soundtracks and an autosave function.

The other difference is the controls: use your finger to swipe the ball and tap when credits and enemies appear. That’s really all you need to know when it comes to the controls. A Swipe the Ball Zone is located at the bottom of the screen which is the hot spot where the ball can be manipulated. From a physics perspective, the ball bounces and ricochets are consistent and accurate. The game is about taking advantage of angles and quickly understanding the shortest route to reach the end of the level.

As blocks are destroyed, credits appear in the form of yellow and blue pyramids. These pyramids are worth credits which can be accumulated for purchasing perks or devices. To secure the credits, you tap them to acquire or they’ll fall into the abyss. Of course, keep a watchful eye out for your ball which is all part of the challenge.

With the credits, 17 perks are available in the shop for purchase and these include:
Attractor—creates a magnetic field
Piercer—cuts through blocks
Flyer—swipe ball anywhere
T-Cutter—cannon
Ball Splitter—split a ball into two
Screamer—creates special waves
Big Bomb—explodes blocks in a certain range
Chen-Chen—adds a rubber band to the ball
Barrier—adds a barrier at the bottom of the screen
Time Absorber—pauses movement

There are also various monsters which look like starbursts and atoms that are destroyed either by tapping or hitting them with the ball.

When starting the game, you’re presented with a series of planets some of which are unlocked. As missions are completed, additional planets are unlocked allowing you to choose from a variety of missions. Graphically, it looks neat because you can swipe/scroll through them. However, the way this is set up is not the most efficient since none of them are labeled nor have any characteristics indicating the type of mission.

Once you select a planet, the game screen appears, and all the pertinent information is located at the bottom. Completed indicates how much of the level is completed in the form of a percentage. Underneath that is the number of balls/lives, number of credits, and scores. Next to that is a cavern where purchased devices are located and can store up to 10 devices. During the game, tap the device to activate it. As I mentioned, the screen continuously scrolls upward during the game, and the scroll speed can be changed to either slow or fast under Options.

Once you get into a good rhythm and are able to swipe the ball into a crevice of blocks, a shower of credits is likely to appear. This can be visually chaotic, and you can easily lose track of the ball, while trying to tap as many credits as possible.

Overall, Touch Breaker is a solid variation of the brick breaker concept, and offers an addictive experience for the casual player. The large amount of levels along with the smooth graphics and challenging gameplay should be a welcome addition to fans of this genre.

Albie Meter: 4 Stars (recommended for casual players who want simple, yet challenging gameplay in an intuitive and polished presentation)

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